A Puzzle and the Big Picture

by Belinda Munoz on July 2, 2010

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WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

It’s not depression.  It’s something else.  It’s a bad blanket of blur much like the San Francisco June gloom.

It’s what makes me sigh when I open my closet, reach for a sundress and retreat like there’s a sheet of glass separating my eager grasp from my flimsy intention.

It’s what wipes away my smile when I wave to a friend from afar who doesn’t see me.

It’s what cuts me off when I sing a song then forget the lyrics.

IDENTIFIED! THEN WHAT?

There are days when the fog has lifted but the gloom has not yet dissipated.  Take doubt, for instance.  The reason for it may no longer exist, but the feeling remains.

This cloud cover that hovers is tricky because it’s a lot like an unwanted visit from a distant relative.  You know the kind?  They show up, derail your schedule, make a mess of your inner sanctum.  Never good news to control freaks.  And all the while you have to play nice because they’re family.  Family whose stay is indefinite.

But you know what I’m learning?  That welcome can be overstayed.  And when intruders won’t leave, then all bets are off.  And when all bets are off, it’s time to give them the boot.

HOW?

There is always an alternative to living with unwanted guests, thoughts and emotions.  I’ve found that pulling a switcharoo can be an effective strategy.

Instead of getting frustrated when singing a song whose lyrics escape me, I think about my son listening to Tupac Shakur’s Dear Mama at bedtime.  Every night for weeks now.  I can’t not smile when I picture my son falling asleep to:

I reminisced on the stress I caused, it was hell / huggin’ on my mama from a jail cell
and who’d think in elementary, heeeey I’d see the penitentiary / One day
running from the police, that’s right / Momma catch me–put a whoopin’ to my backside
and even as a crack fiend Momma, / ya always was a black queen Momma

Instead of getting cozy with gloom, I welcome humor.  Instead of clinging to doubt, I cultivate trust.  Instead of giving in to cynicism, I tell myself maybe.

Oh, I get that they’re not banished for good.  It’s all temporary.

But then again, so am I.

IN OTHER WORDS (SIX WORDS, TO BE EXACT)

Longing to see the panoramic view,
My mind’s vision is vivid, defined.
What’s before me, not so much.
I squint.  I scrunch.  I blink.
Damn 20/20 vision!  Where are you?
So I put on my glasses.
Still, all I see is fog.
Then I remember someone’s wise words.
Shift sides.  Turn slightly.  Look around.
A minor adjustment, a different angle.
Then, I see the bigger picture.

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Today, I’m linking up to Melissa’s Six Word Fridays at Making Things Up and to Bigger Picture Moments. Be sure to click around to meet some great writers.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheKitchenWitch July 2, 2010 at 4:39 am

The lyrics to the song made me smile–I may not be black, but I’m a queen!

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2 Christine LaRocque July 2, 2010 at 5:24 am

I get this Beinda. Intensely. And I love your approach.

“What’s before me, not so much.”

This I understand too, despite finding some grace in myself. I wish I could know what’s before me. And I hope that what’s before me, is nothing like what I just came through.

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3 Roman Soluk July 2, 2010 at 5:25 am

Nice words! I like them! Thanks a lot, Belinda, for sharing this post!

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4 Momalom Jen July 2, 2010 at 5:40 am

Belinda, you are SO creative! I love this. The images are so beautiful and get brighter as you don your glasses! I am right there with you.

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5 Corinne July 2, 2010 at 5:41 am

Oh Belinda… I needed to read this right this very moment (packing up to spend the weekend w/ the inlaws at a tiny condo in Maine… full of mixed emotions… grr…) In this particular situation I often find myself in a fog, and when it’s lifted, I feel better. Even if it’s not the situation I’d like to be in.
Thank you so much for linking up with us this week!!

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6 Justine July 2, 2010 at 5:45 am

“Shift sides. Turn slightly. Look around.
A minor adjustment, a different angle.
Then, I see the bigger picture.”

Love this. Yes, you’re right. It’s there all along, the bigger picture, the brighter side, we just have to open our eyes to it or learn to employ a different perspective. The outlook usually is in our hands. And it’s a good thing.

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7 Aging Mommy July 2, 2010 at 6:21 am

Lovely post – the words Justine picked out to highlight I would also have chosen. It is so very easy to get bogged down in the humdrum of daily life. I keep reading that one of the keys to ongoing happiness is not to sweat the small stuff and yet we all do, all the time. I am also a worrier – as if by worrying about something that may or may not happen I can somehow control it so that things will play out according to my exact plan.

So yes, we all need to make adjustments, take a step back, breathe and then see the bigger picture and the things that are important and then get on with living and enjoying them.

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8 Katie July 2, 2010 at 7:07 am

The big picture is all about perspective – small shifts and there it is. Nice post, Belinda. Thanks.

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9 BigLittleWolf July 2, 2010 at 10:16 am

Minor adjustments. Yes. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

And all so beautifully said, along with six word Friday!

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10 Jack July 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

I liked this.

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11 Lauren July 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

Dear Belinda,

Thinking of your son’s bedtime song brought a big smile to my face. How cool is that!

Ah, yes, that slight shift, a bit of a different angle that can take us to another place, even if momentary.

I’ve learned (over and over – smile) that the ebb and flow of our emotions shall ever remain as surely as the tide comes in and goes back out.

What to do? Sometimes I just wallow in it awhile. Funny, wallowing as a 20something person might mean hours and days of just the right song and all that good stuff. Now, it might be an hour or so. Then, on to the ocean or a book or a project or a different thought.

Perhaps I’ll then re-visit if my mind just can’t resist. Visiting is cool but I’ve learned not to live there. I change my focus. If it’s something that really gets to me, I might have to change my focus lots of times!

As for the unwanted guests in the home. They don’t get in my front door. I guess living 3000 miles away has its plusses. (smile).

Be well,
Lauren

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12 Melissa July 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I love this. Just turn, squint…
Shift the perspective, see through the fog. Or around it. Such wise advise.

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13 Sarah @ This Heavenly Life July 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

This is fantastic advice…the poem at the end needs to be taped onto my bathroom mirror. My kitchen cupboards. Everywhere. Shift sides, turn slightly, look around…a minor adjustment, a different angle…life is funny 🙂

And I love that Tupac song. Which is such an irregular thing for me, I think 🙂 But now I’ll be singing (rapping?) it all day.

I’m so glad you joined Bigger Picture Moments this week!

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14 Tony Single July 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Six words to say, “I like.” 🙂

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15 Jenny July 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Beautiful!

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